Cursed (2005 film)
Theatrical Release Poster
|Directed by||Wes Craven|
|Produced by||Bob Weinstein
|Written by||Kevin Williamson|
|Music by||Marco Beltrami|
|Edited by||Patrick Lussier
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
99 minutes (Unrated cut)
Cursed is a 2005 American horror-comedy film directed by Wes Craven and written by screenwriter Kevin Williamson, who both collaborated on Scream. The film stars Christina Ricci and Jesse Eisenberg as the main sister-and-brother protagonists. The plot focuses on two estranged siblings who are attacked by a werewolf loose in Los Angeles.
||This section's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (August 2015)|
The film begins in Hollywood Los Angeles, when two friends, Jenny Tate and Becky Morton, are at a pier and decide to get their fortune told by Zela, asking about a boy. Zela foretells that they will suffer a horrible fate, but they don't believe her and walk away laughing. A little while later, Becky realizes Jenny has disappeared and can't find her on the pier.
On that same night, teenager Jimmy Myers is picked up on Hollywood Blvd by his sister Ellie, who just came back from visiting her boyfriend Jake Taylor. Jimmy had a run in with some bullies and his crush Brooke. On their way home, Jimmy and Ellie hit an animal and another car. They attempt to rescue the other driver, Becky Morton, but she is suddenly dragged and ripped in half by an unseen creature. Jimmy and Ellie are both slashed by the creature's claws, but make it out alive. When interviewed by police, despite Jimmy's belief that it was a wolf or dog type animal, the official report credits it to a bear or cougar.
Once they get home, Jimmy does research about wolves in California and starts to believe that the creature was a werewolf, and the next morning, nonchalantly tells Ellie, much to her disbelief. Jimmy and Ellie start to exhibit strange tendencies; while working at the news set, Ellie is attracted to the smell of blood, from a co-anchor but Ellie denies it, apparently proving her point by touching a silver picture frame and not getting burned. Jimmy becomes much stronger and more aggressive, as exampled when a bully named Bo forces him to join the wrestling team. He easily defeats three wrestlers, including Bo, and calls Bo out for constantly making gay jokes towards him, saying that Bo himself is repressing his own homosexuality.
Meanwhile, at a party, Jenny runs into Jake, implying that he is the boy that was mentioned at the beginning of the film. She also runs into Joanie, Ellie's publicist, who takes note of Jake Taylor. Jenny leaves the party after an awkward encounter, and Jake and Joanie leave as the full moon rises. Jenny is torn apart in a parking garage by a wolf-like creature. Zela's prediction for Jenny and Becky comes true.
Eventually, Ellie starts to believe the werewolf idea when she sees Zela at the news station and she warns about the coming full moon, and Jimmy proves it when he holds a silver cake server and gets burned (he then discovers that the picture frame Ellie touched was actually stainless steel). Their dog bites Jimmy, tasting his blood and becomes a werewolf type monster and goes on a rampage. Realizing what's happening, he goes to warn Ellie with the help of Bo, who shows up at their house to confess that he is gay and has feelings for Jimmy which Jimmy says is because of the curse. Bo and Jimmy race to where Ellie is.
In the meantime she figures out that Jake is a werewolf. He confirms it, but claims it wasn't him that attacked her and Jimmy. Another werewolf attacks, seemingly proving his story. Bo and Jimmy try to help, but Bo is knocked out. The new werewolf is revealed to be Joanie, who had a one-night stand with Jake and became a werewolf (with proof of a pentagram on her right hand). She wants revenge by killing all of the other girls he dates. He refuses to let her hurt Ellie, and she knocks him out. Joanie soon turns into a werewolf and starts attacking. Ellie and Jimmy fight her, and she finally runs and hides when the police arrive. The two draw her out by insulting her, which she (in werewolf form) gives them the finger. The police open fire, apparently killing her. What they don't know is that the only way to kill a werewolf is to separate the brain from the heart. As she rises again, a cop shoots her in the head, finally killing her. Bo is okay, but Jake has disappeared.
Jimmy and Ellie return to a wrecked home. As Jimmy goes to try to fix the power, Jake arrives. He reveals that he did in fact bite Ellie and Jimmy, and he wants Ellie to live forever by his side after he kills Jimmy. She refuses, and the two fight it out, but her werewolf side only emerges and disappears at small intervals, while he has complete control over his werewolf side and dominates the fight. Jimmy joins in, climbing across the ceiling and biting Jake, distracting him long enough for Ellie to stab him with the silver cake server, badly injuring him. Ellie decapitates Jake with a shovel and breaking the curse on her, Jimmy and their dog. They watch as Jake's body starts to burn with fire and eventually only leaving the silver cake server. Brooke shows up with their dog, having learned where they live from Bo, who also shows up. Bo and Jimmy are now friends; Jimmy kisses Brooke and walks her home along with Bo. Ellie goes to clean up the mess that is their house.
- Christina Ricci as Ellie Myers
- Joshua Jackson as Jake Taylor
- Jesse Eisenberg as Jimmy Myers
- Judy Greer as Joanie
- Scott Baio as Himself
- Milo Ventimiglia as Bo
- Kristina Anapau as Brooke
- Portia de Rossi as Zela
- Shannon Elizabeth as Becky Morton
- Mýa as Jenny Tate
- Eric Ladin as Louie
- Nick Offerman as Police Officer
- Derek Mears as Werewolf
- Craig Kilborn as Himself
- Michelle Krusiec as Nosebleed Co-Worker
- Lance Bass as Himself
- Bowling for Soup as Themselves
The original script was written in August 2000. Dimension co-founder Bob Weinstein announced in October 2002 that Cursed would "reinvent the werewolf genre," and Wes Craven would direct and the movie would be released around August 2003.
Christina Ricci, Skeet Ulrich and Jesse Eisenberg were cast as the three leads. The original plot line had three strangers brought together by a car accident in the Hollywood Hills and the subsequent attack of a werewolf. The three characters were named Ellie Hudson, Vince Winston, and Jimmy Myers. With a budget of $38 million, Cursed commenced shooting March 2003 in Los Angeles. The set used for the high school is Torrance High School, the same used for Sunnydale High on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and West Beverly High on Beverly Hills, 90210 and its spin-off 90210. Filming also occurred at Verdugo Hills High School. Special effects were shot in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
However, The film soon suffered numerous production and script issues and was postponed for over a year. While production was stalled, Several cast members had to be replaced due to scheduling conflicts with other films, and when the movie was re-written and re-shot, many cast members were cut entirely, including Skeet Ulrich, Mandy Moore, Omar Epps, Illeana Douglas, Heather Langenkamp, Scott Foley, Robert Forster, and Corey Feldman. Some of them even filmed scenes which had to be scrapped by director Wes Craven. In the film, Ellie is shown to be working for the crew of The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn with Kilborn making a cameo appearance and Scott Baio appearing as himself being booked to appear on the show. By the time the film was released in February 2005, Kilborn had left the show and had been replaced with Craig Ferguson.
In the fall of 2004, Dimension cut the film to a PG-13 rating instead of the R rating that was planned. Speaking to the New York Post, Wes Craven commented, "The contract called for us to make an R-rated film. We did. It was a very difficult process. Then it was basically taken away from us and cut to PG-13 and ruined. It was two years of very difficult work and almost 100 days of shooting of various versions. Then at the very end, it was chopped up and the studio thought they could make more with a PG-13 movie, and trashed it ... I thought it was completely disrespectful, and it hurt them too, and it was like they shot themselves in the foot with a shotgun."
In 2008, Wes Craven was quoted saying; "... the Cursed experience was so screwed up. I mean, that went on for two-and-a-half years of my life for a film that wasn't anything close to what it should have been. And another film that I was about to shoot having the plug pulled – Pulse – so it was like, I did learn from the Cursed Experience not to do something for money. They said, 'We know you want to do another film, we'll pay you double.' And we were 10 days from shooting, and I said fine. But I ended up working two-and-a-half years for double my fee, but I could have done two-and-a-half movies, and done movies that were out there making money. In general, I think it's not worth it and part of the reason my phone hasn't rung is that that story is pretty well known."
In 2014, costar Judy Greer spoke of the film in an interview: "I don't know why that movie got so fucked up. I don't understand it. I thought the script was fine. Honest to god, I didn't get the big deal. I don't know who kept making them fuck with it. Then we shot the movie for, like, seven years. I think they said we had four movies worth of footage. It was so fun, but so weird. I don't get it. I couldn't figure it out."
In the United States, the film was originally to be released as an R-rated film with graphic violent scenes. However, the studio wished to have a more marketable PG-13 rating, and the film was edited and released as a PG-13 film. In Canada, the uncut version of the film was released theatrically and received a 14A in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario and a 14 in the Maritimes (after appeal) and a 13+ in Quebec. In British Columbia, the film was given an 18A and after an unsuccessful appeal, the edited US version was submitted, 14A-rated, and released in British Columbia.
When released on DVD in the US on June 21, 2005, two versions were available: the original theatrical version (rated PG-13; 97 min.), and also an unrated version (99 min.) which contains the footage cut to obtain a PG-13 rating and runs approximately 2 minutes longer than the original release. The film received its Blu-ray release on September 11, 2012 in a double feature with another Wes Craven film They.
In Canada, Alliance Atlantis released the unrated (marketed as 'Uncensored') version only on DVD (as opposed to Dimension Home Video in the US) and the DVD cover was changed to match the original theatrical poster.
The film received largely negative reviews, earning a 16% approval rating among 94 surveyed critics on Rotten Tomatoes, which concluded, "A predictable plot and cheesy special effects make Cursed a less-than-scary experience." The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "Cursed is a third-rate effort, with a weak script, cheap-looking effects and no genuine frights." Film Threat stated, "Not that it doesn't make movie history. Until this past Friday, the worst werewolf film ever made was, hairy hands down, Mike Nichols' Wolf. Cursed now assumes that dubious distinction and someone is going to have to try very hard to wrestle it away."
Cursed opened theatrically on February 25, 2005, grossing $19,297,522 at the North American box office and $10,324,200 internationally for a total worldwide gross of $29,621,722 against a $38 million budget making the film a box office bomb.
- "CURSED (15)". British Board of Film Classification. March 7, 2005. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- Cursed at Box Office Mojo
- VHHS On Location! Feature Films
- "How Judy Greer Became Hollywood’s Most In-Demand Best Friend", April 23, 2014
- Reconsideration Document for Cursed - British Columbia Film Classification Office
- "Cursed". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 2015-10-06.
- San Francisco Chronicle: "Craven 'Cursed' by predictability in werewolf tale" By Mick LaSalle, February 28, 2005.
- Film Threat: Cursed Review by Rick Kisonak, March 1, 2005.
- Official website
- Cursed at the Internet Movie Database
- Cursed at Box Office Mojo
- Cursed at Rotten Tomatoes
- Cursed at Metacritic